The couple from Shirthady, a village in Moodbidri taluk and 40km from Mangaluru, gave up their plush 17th-floor apartment in Sarjapur, Bengaluru, and shifted into a 600sqft solar-powered mudhouse a year ago. Blessed with twins –– Ethan and Elena –– eight years ago, 35-year-old Jeune Lobo, a content writer, decided to quit her job to be with the children. Soon, her husband Avin Pais, 37, an IT consultant, too decided to bid goodbye in 2018 after realising that he was missing the precious years of his kids growing up after working with an MNC for nearly 13 years.
Jeune told TOI they decided to hit the untrodden path five years ago. “We had to decide between a pretentious lifestyle or leading lives at our own pace. We sold most of our belongings, gave up our apartment and moved initially to a smaller house to try minimalism, then to an off-grid farm in Sakleshpur (Hassan district) to try laidback farm life. We lived in a shipping container for a year, learnt how to forage, cook on woodfires and tried natural farming.”
In their Shirthady house, they do not use fridge or washing machine and follow the principle –– the less you own, the more you have. “For the past seven years, we have not seen a doctor. If unwell, we do fasting or take home remedies. We started ‘The Lab Farm’ as an initiative to share traditional food styles and, at times, sell farm produce,” said Avin.
No regular schooling
Avin and Jeune have not admitted their children to regular school. “Our kids are learning from our travels. They have learnt to read and write on their own. Every year, we ask them if they would want to go to a regular school. We are teaching them life skills. While Ethan is good with gadgets, Elena has asked for a gymnastics tutor,” she said.
They love exploring new places. Early this year, they completed an 80-day road trip from Moodbidri to Kutch. Instead of staying in hotels, they bought a tent and pitched it near beaches and farms. Interestingly, none of their trips has a preplanned return date. They take to social media to share and discuss their learnings on minimalism, unschooling, travel, homecare, personal-care products, food-processing recipes, city-to-farm story and farming aspects, including how to brew kombucha, a fermented and sweetened black or green tea.
Image Source : PTI Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa talks to media before attendin…